Where to place a bamboo nesting box in the UK

bamboo nesting box on a tree

I love watching the bird box we have in our tree in the garden. We’ve had bluetits three years running now so fingers crossed for a fourth!

Where should I put a nesting box?

When placing a bamboo nesting box in the UK, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure the best chance of attracting nesting birds:

Choosing the Location of a nesting box:

The nesting box should be placed in a quiet and secluded area away from human activity, at least two metres off the ground.

Nesting boxes are often placed 2 meters off the ground for several reasons:

  1. Protection from predators: Placing nesting boxes higher up can help protect the birds inside from predators such as cats, raccoons, and snakes. These animals are less likely to be able to reach the nesting boxes if they are elevated.
  2. Better visibility: Nesting boxes that are placed higher up can provide better visibility for the birds nesting inside. This can help them better detect predators or other potential threats.
  3. Privacy: Some bird species prefer to nest in higher locations to maintain their privacy and safety. Being elevated can provide them with a sense of security and seclusion.
  4. Temperature regulation: Nesting boxes that are placed higher up can also help regulate the temperature inside. They are often exposed to more sun and wind, which can help keep the interior of the box cooler in hot weather and warmer in cooler weather.

Choosing the Orientation of a nesting box:

The entrance hole of the nesting box should face between north and east to avoid direct sunlight and strong winds.

To find North East the easiest way is to wait until midday when the sun is directly south. Put your back to the sun and you are now facing north. Lift your right arm straight out to the side and that’s East. Halfway between where you’re pointing and where you’re facing is north east (roughly!)

What sort of Habitat should I place my nesting box?:

The nesting box should be placed in an appropriate habitat for the type of bird you wish to attract. For example, if you want to attract blue tits, the nesting box should be placed near trees or shrubs.

Bird Name Best Location for Nesting Box Ideal Height
Blue Tit Tree or wall with clear flight path to entrance 1.5-5m
Great Tit Tree or wall with clear flight path to entrance 1.5-5m
Robin Sheltered spot under eaves or on a wall 2m
House Sparrow Side of a building in a sheltered spot 2-3m
Starling High wall or tree with clear flight path 3-5m
Barn Owl Quiet, isolated spot such as a barn or shed 3-5m
Tawny Owl Quiet, secluded spot such as a woodland area 3-5m

Which birds never use nesting boxes?

Some birds prefer to build their nests in natural cavities or structures, while others may use abandoned nests of other bird species. Here are some examples of UK birds that typically do not use nesting boxes:

  • Blackbird
  • Chaffinch
  • Dunnock
  • Goldfinch
  • Greenfinch
  • Linnet
  • Mistle Thrush
  • Song Thrush
  • Wren

These birds usually build their nests in bushes, trees, or on the ground, and do not require a nesting box. However, providing a habitat for these birds in your garden, such as planting native shrubs and trees, can still encourage them to visit and potentially nest in your area.

How can I protect my nesting box?

The nesting box should be protected from predators such as cats or squirrels. This can be achieved by placing the box on a metal pole or by using a predator guard.

Maintenance of my nesting box:

The nesting box should be regularly checked for damage and cleaned out after each breeding season to ensure it remains a suitable and safe nesting site for birds.

By following these guidelines, you can help create a safe and attractive nesting site for birds in your garden or local area.

How would you clean a nesting box after use?

Cleaning a nesting box after use is important to ensure that it’s hygienic and safe for future bird occupants. However, it’s important to avoid using harsh cleaning agents that may harm future birds. Here are some steps you can take to clean a nesting box without using any harmful chemicals:

  1. Wait until the nesting season is over and the birds have vacated the box.
  2. Wear gloves and remove any old nesting material from the box, making sure to dispose of it properly.
  3. Use a stiff-bristled brush to scrub the interior of the box, removing any debris or fecal matter. Be sure to scrub gently to avoid damaging the box.
  4. If necessary, use a damp cloth to wipe down the interior of the box to remove any remaining debris.
  5. Allow the box to air dry completely before replacing it in its original location.

It’s important to note that not all nesting boxes need to be cleaned each year. Some species, such as blue tits and great tits, will often reuse the same box for multiple years and may only require cleaning every few years. Additionally, some species, such as robins, build open nests and do not require a nesting box at all.

What are the benefits of a bamboo nesting box over a wooden one?

Bamboo nesting boxes offer several benefits over traditional wooden nesting boxes. Some of these benefits include:

  1. Eco-friendly: Bamboo is a highly sustainable and renewable material, which makes it an excellent choice for those who want to reduce their impact on the environment.
  2. Durability: Bamboo is incredibly strong and durable, making it an excellent choice for nesting boxes that need to withstand the elements.
  3. Weather-resistant: Bamboo is naturally resistant to water, making it an excellent material for nesting boxes that will be exposed to rain, snow, and other forms of precipitation.
  4. Pest-resistant: Bamboo contains natural oils that repel pests such as termites, making it a great choice for nesting boxes that need to be protected from damage.

Overall, bamboo nesting boxes offer a more sustainable, durable, and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional wooden nesting boxes.

Why not pair it with a bamboo bird feeder?


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